Phoenix Friday: Admitted students in the Class of 2026 get a taste of the Elon experience

Hundreds of admitted students from the Class of 2026 made their way to campus for the first Phoenix Friday of the spring semester.

Hundreds of admitted students from the Class of 2026 and their families packed Alumni Gym on Friday, March 25 for the university’s first Phoenix Friday of the year.

President Connie Ledoux Book speaks to families visiting for Phoenix Friday in Alumni Gym.

Students, many of whom have already made deposits to become first-year students at Elon in the fall, heard about the university’s expertise in a variety of areas – ranking No. 1 in undergraduate teaching excellence by U.S. News & World Report, receiving the 2021 Campus-Wide Award for Undergraduate Research Accomplishments by the Council for Undergraduate Research, 17 straight years of ranking No. 1 in study abroad, and Elon’s overall dedication to experiential education.

President Connie Ledoux Book noted in her welcome remarks to the students and families gathered in Alumni Gym that all university offer a variety of degrees in areas such as English, business, engineering and finance. “But it’s about how we deliver that,” Book said. “The experiences we create in the classroom, as well as the experiences outside of the classroom and our commitment to where you land after Elon – that’s what we’re focused on.”

The success of current Elon students, such as Kiara Hunter ’23, Anna Altmann ’23, Ashlyn Crain ’22, Jovani Mendez-Sandoval ’22, Brett Thompson ’22 and Kyra O’Connor ’23, were highlighted during the Phoenix Friday overview.

Elon is a place that believes in supporting the dreams of students, while also giving them the tools to achieve those dreams, Book said. The Elon community emphasizes engagement, and that engagement permeates all facets of campus and drives students to reach their desired outcomes.

Noah Orr ’21 greets families to Phoenix Friday at the Koury Center.

“What I love about Elon is that students are a part of our story. Students are our future, and they shape who we are,” Book said. “We are designed to support undergraduate students. It is our distinction in higher education to focus on the undergraduate student.”

One doesn’t have to search far and wide for a supportive voice at Elon, said Dean of Undergraduate Admission Evan Sprinkle. Whether at College Coffee, in the residence halls or in short conversations with faculty, staff or classmates, that support will empower students to take on new challenges and think creatively about the impact they’ll make on the world.

“I hope you know that when you join our community this fall, you’re joining a community that strives to be excellence in all that we do,” Sprinkle said. “That’s a commitment that’s shared by our entire campus.”

Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Evan Sprinkle, right, and President Connie Ledoux Book spoke to families visiting for Phoenix Friday in Alumni Gym.

Following the welcoming event, admitted students and families went on open house tours of the residence hall neighborhoods with an overview of all offerings from Residential Life, including Living Learning Communities.

Fonville Fountain was a popular spot for photos on Friday, March 25, 2022, as families visited Elon University for Phoenix Friday.

After lunch, everyone gathered again in Alumni Gym for a presentation on Elon’s academic advising program and to listen to Elon’s academic deans discuss the experience Elon offers in the classroom, the lab, around campus and beyond. In the afternoon, admitted students were invited to meet with current Elon students to learn about their time so far at the university, while parents gathered to hear about the resources available through the Student Professional Development Center.

“Thank you again and welcome to Phoenix Friday. It’s a beautiful day on campus and a great day to celebrate the members of this outstanding Class of 2026,” Book said.